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Microsoft’s virtual assistant Cortana arrives officially on iOS

Siri not behaving? Okay Google cold and unfamiliar? Well, iOS users now have a third major option: Microsoft’s Cortana has officially launched on iPhone (and Android).

Following a period of beta testing, a dedicated Cortana app is now available on the App Store.

It’s a fair question to ask why iOS users would want to use a virtual assistant that’s far less integrated than Siri on their device, but the Cortana app could prove vital to PC users (on Windows 10) i.e. iPhone or iPad owners that don’t own a Mac. It will allow users to manage reminders, track flights, packages and more.

Integration is a big focus of Cortana. Microsoft recently partnered with Cyanogen – an open-source operating system based on Android. It’s allowed Cortana to perform more tasks and integrate further with the Android operating system. Cortana is, unsurprisingly, most powerful on Windows phones, but Android users can still access certain capabilities such as system features.

Screenshot showing Cortana's reminders.

Screenshot showing Cortana’s reminders sync

Of course, on iOS, restrictions are much stricter and any ambitions Microsoft might have in exploring ‘task continuation’ using Cortana on iOS is likely to face a brick wall built by Apple, which would naturally prefer users to get a Mac and use the ‘Handoff‘ features through iOS and OS X.

So, is this something for iPhone and iPad users to get excited about? If you have a PC running Windows 10, it’ll be an app worth exploring to see how you can connect your device to your computer. It’s usefulness on iOS is similar to that of Google’s ‘Okay Google’ assistant – if you’re a user of Google services, it’ll help you to manage those more.

However, if you exist in a full-on Apply ecosystem, carry on. Siri is still your go-to guy/gal.

Download Cortana on the App Store

Note: Siri is currently only available in the US App Store but will reach other territories in due course.

Read more: 9 incredibly useful ways to use Siri on iOS

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